I was wondering if others with bipolar have had issues with their identity. I feel like I change so much that I don't know who I am or what normal is for me. I use to think when I was having a mild mania that was normal, but learning more now I see that I was kind of manic for several years whic was not normal. I start lots of stuff when I am manic to end up never finishing them it is hard for me to stay interested in anything long term. These things if I kept them more long term could help define me as a person. Ah the more I think about it the more depressed about it I get so I will just stop here. :-(
I struggle with how to define myself. It is tough because I used to define myself in terms of career, perhaps too much so. I was quite successful as a fundraising event planner.
With my last episode of bipolar disorder I lost that career, and with it my identity. I still struggle with my ego. It doesn't seem as important to be a 'church secretary' and I don't feel like I contribute much to the family budget. I used to make $50,000 a year, now I make $12/hour part-time.
For me I've been trying to rely on my faith. I am important because I was created. I am living my purpose even if I don't understand the why's or how's of God's choices. I am me for a reason. Sometimes it is hard because I know who I want to be - and I am not that person.
Perhaps it is best to say I am who I am at this very moment and that is all I need to be.
In my manic phases I too say yes to everything, take on more than I can handle. Even before I was diagnosed, I would be like that and then get extreme anxiety and desperation other days. It helps me to identify myself by unique characteristics and long term goals and values like that I'm independent, always see the other side of things, and my goals include being successful through the many places life will take me first, because woman empowerment and standing up for what I believe in, even through my worst days, are still what I know about myself. Life has many phases, you'll figure everything out. The whole point of going through all this is to get you where you really below- always listen to your intuition:) Read Steve Jobb's biography.. Youll be able to relate to him, or at least his commencement spent at Stanford (on YouTube). You can get theough this, good luck to you!
I thought it was just me. I have no idea who I am either. I have no real hobbies (I also lose interest in things and don't finish projects that I have started). I feel empty because I don't know who I am. I look at others and I get jealous because they seem to know who they are... and they love what they do (hobbies, work, etc.). Thanks for posting this topic.... I feel lost all of the time because of this (not knowing who I am) and I am glad that I am not alone.
I guess we just have to figure out who we are when we realize what is normal for us. Somewhere in the middle I sappose, but for me it is hard. This is not the first time I have felt in an identity crisis....I have went through them off and on my whole life. I think also it doesn't help that I have never fit in anywhere which could either be a cause or an effect of the identity chrisis, or both. Regardless which side it is on it only fuels the identity chrisis more. I am just wondering if I will continue to feel like this off and on the rest of my life. I am hoping the meds leveling me out will help the situation. I was thinking perhaps this would be a good subject to talk to my therapist about.
Hi amy4891, hell here i think this is completley normal when you are first diagnosed. I felt the same way, i was surprised that some of my behaviours were not "normal" and that not everyone had these, i felt like all my good times that looking back were hypomania were a lie, an illness, in fact i felt like my whole life had been a lie. I was diagnosed 3 years ago and it has taken me until now to feel like part of my oldself is coming back. I felt lost and didnt know who i was anymore. Definatley it is something that you should address with your therapist, i am only now dealing with this and i wish i had dealt with it in the begining. good luck :)
Hi Amy! You are definitely NOT alone! I struggle with identity myself and, like you, often start projects or hobbies and lose interest very quickly. I have also done this with friends I've made, religions, hairstyles, diets, and relationships. It all boils down to this; bipolar compulsiveness. I do things and start things when I am in a manic/hypomanic cycle and realize later on what has happened. I keep a mood journal and it helps A LOT for me to recognize when I may be in a manic/hypomanic cycle and it has helped me to NOT start anything new or get into bad situations because of it. As far as knowing WHO you really are....just try to remember what you are like in your "normal" phase. I am loving, artistic, intelligent, humorous and talented in many ways in my normal phases. I hold onto that knowledge as tight as I can. I hope this helps you.
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